Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cafe Mary Grace

'Tis the season of lights, giving gifts and tipping the scales! At Cafe Mary Grace, however, the warm fuzzy feeling of the Christmas season seems to linger all-year-round. 

They are famous for their bite-sized dozes of comfort - brownies, grilled cheese rolls, pies, lemon squares, cheesecakes, and cheesy ensaymadas. I went to their Greenbelt 3 branch with friends last month, and had their grilled cheese rolls, carbonara, and apple & cinnamon honey iced tea. A divine combination! I forgot to take photos of the food, a common indication of hunger. We ended up eating and chatting for hours, and had plenty of room for dessert. 

I had the brownie a la mode, a big slice of their famous brownies topped with creamy vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with melted cheese.

 Needless to say, I was a very happy girl that night. Cheers!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Parvati is a quaint restaurant/cakes and pastries shop at Trinoma, which didn't make a big impact on me the first time I tried their food. Recently, however, I find myself craving for Parvati's Taco Salad and Carbonara more often! The taco salad is exactly what you would expect tacos to taste served with more greens, and the carbonara isn't too different from the ones I've tasted before. The Bacon Chowder is creamy and comforting as it should be, and my favorite apple honey juice is well, apple juice mixed with honey. 

In essence, the dishes on their own taste fairly good, but serve it in a cozy corner with relaxing music and perfect restaurant lighting, and voila! I am one satisfied customer. The service is noteworthy, given that they don't even bill you for service charge. Affordable and satisfying, indeed. 

Now, time for some photos to drool over...

Start your meal with the creamy bacon chowder

Work your way into this gorgeous taco salad

Enjoy a mouthful of creamy carbonara

Alternating bites

For dessert, try these divine custaroon poppers

We all deserve a happy ending.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Getting Techie in the Kitchen

The iPad has made its way into our lives, and inevitably, into our kitchen! Time to give the dusty cookbooks a rest, and try Summit Media's new iPad app, Yummy Filipino Recipes.

Choose from different Filipino recipes that are easy to follow, and made of ingredients which can be bought locally. This app retails for $3.99, but Summit Media was kind enough to give Manila Foodistas the app for free! Read more about what I had to say here

Discovered great apps you'd like to share? Just leave your comments! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pho Hua

I am not exactly the most adventurous person when it comes to food. I become loyal to my favorite dishes, which are mostly fried, cheesy, and salty. I am not a big fan of vegetables either. My parents, however, love vegetables, and they love Pho Hua, their favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I wasn't a fan the first time, but it's growing on me. We frequent this restaurant in TriNoma after work or during weekends for comforting and guilt-free dining. Check out the photos of our dinner last week.
They give you this while waiting for your order - basil leaves, bean sprouts, and lemons
Vermicelli Bowl: Grilled Pork and Fried Roll served with thin vermicelli noodles and vegetable
Breaded tofu with mushroom and pepper sauce
Beef Noodle Soup. Excuse the spoons spooning each other. Haha!
The Tenderloin Beef dish is also one of my favorites there. The herbs complement the robust flavor of the meat, perfect when eaten with hot soup and tea. For dessert, I've tried their Mango Crepe (I wasn't able to take a photo), which was too sweet for me. The crepe itself is too thin and lacked texture. Just stick to the main dishes and visit another resto for dessert.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's More Fun in the Philippines: Coron, Palawan

Sun, sand, and sea.

As a Tourism student in the University of the Philippines, I was able to visit quite a number of destinations all over the archipelago, each having its own distinct character. Coron doesn't only have sparkling white sand beaches to hang out in. We barely had time to rest because there's just so much to do that you wouldn't want to miss out on! We went snorkelling, explored different islands, lakes, and springs, trekking, mountain climbing, and doing things kids do when lost in paradise!

If you're a budget traveler, you can find cheap accommodations that offer tours along with your stay. I have no complaints about the food, scenery, activities, and people. They could work on better crowd management and maintenance of facilities, but overall, you get great value for money. Try everything they offer, it'll be worth it! 

Here are some photos I took during our field trip to Coron last year:

Breathtaking view while mountain climbing

Reached Mt. Tapyas! The trail is steep, it's as if someone literally sliced a part of the mountain with a knife.
View from the top
Twin Lakes. Sometimes it's cold, and the next minute, the water feels warm.

The Barracuda Lake. Yes, a giant barracuda actually lives here, and attracts divers all over the world.
The food in Palawan is amazingly delicious and cheap!

Do yourself a favor and visit Subasco Bar. Don't ask, just do it! ;)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reach for the Starr's! Loving Starr's Famous Shakes :)

There's nothing like sugar rush on bright mornings. Good thing we found this newly-opened great shake place at Katipunan last week after our visit to Studio Zen (read about my salon review here). They sell yummy shakes and smoothies that are so thick and creamy! You can mix and match your favorites from their wide variety of flavor options. 
I love the colors!
Here's one more thing to love their shakes - they're basically guilt-free!
 You'll notice different pop art portraits of celebrities drinking Starr's shakes on the walls. They're stars drinking Starr's. Get ittt? Pretty clever, if you ask me!

A closer look at the choices and their prices
We ordered a strawberry smoothie and caramel and cookie dough milkshake. Divine combination. I love the sweetness of the strawberry and the sweet-salty cookie dough flavor. Both were dangerously THICK, as promised.

Photo op before leaving
Visit them at: 41 E Abada st. corner R.Alvero,Xavierville Katipunan, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines

Have you tried out Starr's Famous Shakes? What's your favorite flavor? 

Getting some TLC at Studio Zen

I don't regularly go to salons, but when I do, I make sure that it's going to be worth it! Every now and then, I enjoy getting a new haircut, hair treatment, or a mani pedi with my mom. Last Sunday was one of the days we decided to stop by a salon for some quick pampering. We went to Studio Zen Katipunan for the first time.
I love the minimalist design. White walls and floors are good to have in a salon so you know it's well-maintained

My mom got a pedicure and foot spa, I got a manicure and pedicure, and my dad got a haircut. The services offer great value for money. The people are friendly and don't force treatments and products on you - that's one of the things that turns me off when I go to some salons where you'll be forced to buy whatever product they're insisting on you just so they'd shut up. Haha! Anyway, I was pleased to have a relaxing time enjoying a conversation with my mom while my nails get a makeover. 
Manicure/Pedicure corner

I had my fingernails done with Opi in Samoan Island and Orly in Bon Bon for my toenails. I had to keep my fingers tamed for work, but I decided not to match them with my toes just for the heck of it! 

With our fab manicuristas! 

Studio Zen is known for being a Complete Care Salon, with various services you can avail regularly. Visit their branches to find out more about their famous Unli Services. You can avail of unlimited hair, nails, and massage services for amazingly affordable monthy/ weekly rates! Thanks Aaron (Studio Zen's owner) and Jowie (Studio Zen's Marketing Officer), for the relaxing treat! 
Visit their branches:
- #325 Katipunan Ave. (in front of Ateneo above BPI and KFC building), QC
- 2F Kopi Roti Bldg., Tomas Morato Ave.
Learn more about Studio Zen on their FB Page.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Going Nuts with Fruitti Nutti

It isn't always easy to find healthy meals when you're on the go, but stacking up on protein and fiber-rich fruits and nuts are great snack options to keep your diet healthy. Fruitti Nutti is a newly-opened retail store specializing in the supply of U.S.-origin nuts and fried fruits, owned by Ms. Elaine Gatchalian. Click this link for my full feature on these healthy and delicious treats on Manila Foodistas.

Here's a little preview of their product offerings:

Makes you want to grab some from your screen, right?

Fruitti Nutti loot!

Fruitti Nutti is located at Unit 7, 8 Jade Bldg., Santolan Rd., Greenhills, San Juan City. For more information, you can contact Ms. Elaine Gatchalian through these numbers: 975 9689 / 0917 537 2361 or send an email to

 Happy healthy munching!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's More Fun in the Philippines: Batanes

I am feeling a bit nostalgic today because tomorrow is the first day of classes in UP and I am left without any classes to study in advance for nor friends and field trips to look forward to. Thus, I opened my laptop and browsed through some photos. Now, I'd like to share with you one of the best field trips I've had in college. I went on a filed trip to Batanes last March 2011 with my classmates from the UP Asian Institute of Tourism. Batanes, the northernmost province in the Philippines, is what they call heaven on Earth with its lush landscapes and unspoiled environment. Our trip there made me realize how heavily endowed the Philippines is of natural beauty. The breathtaking scenery, the kind people (Batanes is practically crime-free!), and the good food, all make up for a fun and relaxing getaway. I'll let the photos do most of the talking from here. 

Fields in Basco makes one want to belt out The Sound of Music tunes!
Valugan Beach
Lying on grass: one of life's simple pleasures
Marlboro Country
One cannot help but snap photos of every astonishing sight
Fundacion Pacita sits on a hill in Basco
Fundaction Pacita was once the studio of artist, Pacita Abad. It was rebuilt into a lodge, with each room resembling a gallery. It is now the premier accommodation establishment in Batanes, with exclusivity and comfort unparalleled by other inns and lodges there.

Staiway leading to a better view of the ocean
I love this photo of my friends

The wind is strong and cold, but you can ditch your thick jackets for an experience you won't get in the city!

Visit the famous lighthouse in Basco and go for a stroll on the beach (Sorry, I forgot what the name of this beach is).

The typical food choices in Batanes include fish, carabao meat, yellow rice, seaweed soup, and of course,  veggies! 

This is how you get around the mountains. It's more fun on the top load! 

We also visited the famous honesty coffee shop. It was not manned by anyone, there are just rules on the walls and a price list on the table.
Would you dare to steal with this plastered in front of you?

The children of the villagers are timid and polite.
A tourist-y shot before leaving the traditional stone houses

I wish I could go back there with my family. Have you visited Batanes or any similar place, too? Share your travel experiences or leave a link to your blog! :)